Whether your divorce is contentious or not, whether you have children or not, whether you have a lot of assets or not, whether just about anything, there is one common theme among all divorce: it is emotionally taxing. Under those circumstances, it can be easy to overlook an important matter or to compromise to something to your detriment. A divorce lawyer in Alabama will make sure nothing is missing and that the divorce is fair and considers your rights and interests.
At Ritchey Legal, PLLC, our divorce lawyer in Birmingham and throughout Alabama helps clients understand what's at stake. Some of the most common questions asked are answered here for you. We know that informed clients make better decisions for themselves and their families. If you want specific answers that relate to your unique situation, contact us online or at 205-225-9225 to schedule a consultation.
How much will my divorce in Birmingham and throughout Alabama cost?
The cost of your divorce will depend on multiple factors, but mainly it depends on whether the divorce is contested or not. Quite naturally, an uncontested divorce will not cost as much simply because the process is much more straightforward. In an uncontested divorce, you may not even see a day inside the courtroom. But in contested divorces, the costs depend on factors like:
- The extent of the disputes or disagreements between the spouses
- The potential for custody battles
- The number of assets, including the allegations of hidden assets
- The attorney you hire––and that does not only mean the attorney fees but the lawyer's legal competency and negotiating skills
Giving a precise prediction of how much your divorce will cost is impossible because of the various factors that go into it. The starting point in terms of costs is the filing fee associated with the divorce complaint, and then from there, it depends on the circumstances.
What if my spouse does not want a divorce?
You can still file for divorce even if your spouse does not want the divorce. Some states require a period of separation, and that could be metaphorically or physically, and other states do not require it. Regardless of any separation requirement, all states allow no-fault divorces. No fault simply means the marriage has irretrievably broken down or the spouses have irreconcilable differences.
Can I sue for divorce in Alabama on the grounds of adultery?
Now that all states allow no-fault divorces, you do not have to have a ground for divorce except in rare cases. For example, if you entered a covenant marriage, then you may be required to provide a ground for divorce, like adultery. Further, you may want to file a fault-based divorce if your spouse cheated on you and during the affair, they wasted marital property (e.g., cash) on it. In this situation, a judge would make up for the waste via asset distribution to the spouse who did not cheat.
How is Birmingham and throughout Alabama child custody or support determined?
Child custody, visitation, and child support are determined case-by-case with each state having their specific, respective guidelines. These matters, however, are always determined by considering the "best interests of the child" standard. In general, though, courts want both parents to build strong relationships with their children. Courts also recognize that both parents are financially responsible for the child. Child custody, visitation, and child support will reflect those beliefs as the basis of the determination.
How is Birmingham and throughout Alabama alimony determined?
Alimony, also referred to as spousal support or spousal maintenance, is determined on a case-by-case basis with each state having their specific, respective guidelines. Most states consider the present earning ability and future earning opportunities of the spouses. If one spouse was dependent on the other spouse through the marriage, that factor will weigh heavily on any court's decision on alimony.
How are assets and debt divided in Alabama?
Assets and debt are divided according to your state's approach to the division of property. There are two approaches: community property and equitable distribution. In the first approach, property and debts are divided equally. In the second approach, a 50/50 isn't necessarily––what matters is what's fair.
My spouse is abusive. How do I protect myself during the divorce?
Spouses who have abusive spouses are in most danger when they seek divorce. You should protect yourself by getting as much help and support you can. You can file a restraining order, the process of which varies state to state. You should also consider state and local programs aimed at helping survivors of domestic abuse. You also want to build a network of support using friends and family as well as a supportive family law attorney.
How do I start my divorce in Birmingham and throughout Alabama?
To start any divorce in any state, you have to file a petition to dissolve the marriage with the court clerk. The court where you must file the petition varies state to state or county to county. Once the petition is filed, the other spouse has a certain number of days to answer the petition unless the divorce is a mutual one, making an answer unnecessary. The most efficient way to start a divorce is to contact a divorce attorney to handle it for you. This way the petition is properly filed and/or timely answered.
Contact a Divorce Lawyer in Alabama Today
If you are thinking of a divorce or have been served divorce papers, contact Ritchey Legal, PLLC either by using the online contact form or calling us at 205-225-9225. We will schedule a consultation so that you can get your most immediate questions answered more specifically.